Lung cancer tumor boards are an essential part of ensuring patients with lung cancer receive proper diagnosis and the best quality treatment using evidence-based knowledge.1 They are generally composed of multidisciplinary practitioners to coordinate the care of lung cancer patients due to challenging treatment and high disease-related morbidity and mortality.1 The multidisciplinary tumor board concept was first introduced in the UK in the 1990s and generally consists of diverse specialists including medical and radiation oncologists, thoracic surgeons, radiologists, pneumologists, pathologists, and molecular biologists constituting a core team.1 Extended boards can include other specialists involved in lung cancer care such as nutritionists, nurses, palliative and rehabilitation care physicians, nuclear medicine specialists, patient representatives and, if located in academic centers, research fellows and students.1 During tumor board meetings, individual treatment plans are discussed and treatment recommendations for the patient are given.1 In addition, lung cancer multidisciplinary tumor boards may allow patients to be selected for participation in appropriate clinical trials to improve efficiency in patient care.1
At the European Lung Cancer Congress 2022, held virtually March 30 to April 2, an analysis of tumor board recommendations from a certified lung cancer center in Northern Germany between 2014 and 2018 was presented to determine adherence to treatment recommendations. Also analyzed were factors which determined recommendation adherence and the relationship between adherence and patient overall survival.
Data from 1784 newly diagnosed patients with lung cancer were available, but the researchers only analyzed the first 161 cases for the presentation. Most patients had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group score of 0 or 1, 58% of the patients were male, 84% were ex or current heavy smokers, and the median patient age was 66, with a range of 36 to 88 years. Treatment recommendations made by the tumor board were completely adhered to by 78% of the patients with cited reasons for non-adherence being patient characteristics, patient wishes, or death prior to therapy commencement. When overall survival was analyzed, the median overall survival for the total population was 15 months. Complete adherence to recommendations gave an overall survival of 16 months. There were 17 patients who were determined to have partial adherence. These patients had an overall survival of 5 months. In the 17 patients with non-adherence to treatment, the overall survival was 1 month. From these preliminary findings it appears that adherence to tumor board recommendations in patients with lung cancer at first diagnosis gives patients a longer overall survival.
Roeper J, Ansmann L, Kathmann L, et al Adherence to treatment recommendations from multidisciplinary tumour boards. Ann Oncol. 2020;31:s258.
- Gebbia V, Guarini A, Piazza D, et al. Virtual multidisciplinary tumor boards: a narrative review focused on lung cancer. Pulm Ther. 2021;7:295-308.